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FIA WEC Inks Landmark Live TV Deal with FOX Sports

FiA WEC, FOX Sports ink landmark TV deal for 2015…

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While U.S. fans have only been able to follow the full FIA World Endurance Championship through the internet, that’s about to change in 2015, as part of an expanded television agreement with FOX Sports that will include live broadcasts of all races.

The landmark TV deal, announced today, will see FIA WEC races broadcast live between FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2, along with the network’s continued comprehensive coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

More than 70 hours of live FIA WEC race coverage will be across FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2, in addition to every single race being available live on FOX Sports GO.

As a result, the FIA WEC will receive more live TV coverage than any other FIA-sanctioned championship in North America.

Next weekend’s season-opening Six Hours of Silverstone will see all six hours carried live on FOX Sports 1, with a minimum of three hours of each additional regular-season race shown live as well.

“This is a significant agreement for the brand awareness of the World Endurance Championship in North America, which is very important market for our partners and manufacturers,” said WEC CEO Gérard Neveu.

“American and Canadian fans can now watch the entire 2015 season live on FOX Sports and this will bring Le Mans style endurance racing to a much wider audience.

“This will also increase the visibility and interest for spectators at our US round, the Lone Star Le Mans weekend, in September, where the event will be one of the sporting highlights at the Circuit of the Americas.”

Full details on the commentary team and TV schedule are expected to be released at a later date.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

52 Comments

52 Comments

  1. Jason

    April 1, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Good stuff But i got a question. I don’t have cable TV so I don’t know the the answer to this: Is Fox Sports struggling to fill their channel with content so much that they are willing to block so much of their time to what they consider a niche sport like the WEC?

    • scottstev

      April 1, 2015 at 8:10 am

      Indicates that either Fox Sports is happy enough with the performance of the Tudor series that they want to expand, or that WEC is ponying up for coverage. There’s slim pickings for sports programming that hasn’t already been spoken for. I’m guessing the only league getting real viewership that isn’t on a broadcast channel is Premier League on NBC Sports Network. Everything else is a niche product.

      CBS Sports Network has the most varied motorsports, but the production quality for Trans Am and PWC needs improvement.

    • JJ

      April 1, 2015 at 10:22 am

      There is also revenue involved. The WEC is supported by Audi, Porsche, Toyota, and Michelin who need ROI for their programs. They are built in advertisers for Fox. Smart move by everyone involved, I imagine Fox gets the broadcast relatively cheap (since someone else has already covered the majority of the production costs) and built in buyers for the commercial spots. Bravo!

      • AudiTT

        April 1, 2015 at 4:27 pm

        Consider too broadcast times. A number of rounds will be early morning or late evening US time, so could be good fits around other sports coverage.

    • Doug

      April 1, 2015 at 11:24 am

      The only sports content in the summer is racing and baseball so everyone is a bit desperate for content.

  2. Byron

    April 1, 2015 at 6:45 am

    Please Fox, we want WEC live in South America!!!!!

    • Fabio

      April 1, 2015 at 8:54 am

      I second that.

  3. Neil

    April 1, 2015 at 7:13 am

    John, I know the date as well as you. If this is a joke, we’re coming for you!

    • Jason

      April 1, 2015 at 7:26 am

      Oh gheesh. Should have known.

      • FLB

        April 1, 2015 at 7:47 am

        It’s on the official FIA WEC page, so not not sure it’s a joke?

        http://www.fiawec.com/fr/actualites/le-wec-en-direct-a-travers-l-amerique-du-nord-en-2015-_2982.html

        (In French)

        • John Dagys

          April 1, 2015 at 8:19 am

          It’s not a joke. We have never (and never will) post April Fools jokes on the website.

          • Johnny

            April 1, 2015 at 10:02 am

            Thanks John

          • Doug

            April 1, 2015 at 11:25 am

            You deserve a medal for that kind of attitude. A real shiny one.

          • Slow

            April 1, 2015 at 12:04 pm

            Thank you, any journalism publication that takes itself seriously shouldn’t.

        • BD

          April 5, 2015 at 1:28 pm

          So far, not a joke. It’s already on my cable schedule and set to DVR the race

  4. Bob

    April 1, 2015 at 8:02 am

    I’ll ignore that it’s April 1st.

    This is good news.

    I don’t enjoy watching racing on computers. This is a long awaited addition to us American sports car fans television options.

    • AudiTT

      April 1, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      Chromecast support is but into the WEC mobile app.

  5. Dave

    April 1, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Yes! This is not an April fools joke!

  6. Brent

    April 1, 2015 at 8:40 am

    John,

    Is the US still able to get the races through the WEC App without Geo block restrictions ?

    • Jason

      April 1, 2015 at 9:00 am

      I’m wondering the same. Their streaming was excellent last year. I don’t see why people don’t like streaming better, no commercials and fox loves commercials!

      • John Dagys

        April 1, 2015 at 9:01 am

        I’m told the answer is yes. The App will still work in the US (but you’ll need to pay for it, like last year)

        • racing is fun

          April 2, 2015 at 9:59 am

          cool, exact question I was looking to be answered.

  7. Adam

    April 1, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Judging by how they’ve handled the TUSCC, they’re going to be covering most of the races on Fox Sports 2. GREAT – even more sports car racing that Comcast customers don’t get to watch

    • Jason

      April 1, 2015 at 8:58 am

      This is why I dumped Comcast for dish!

  8. Dave

    April 1, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Thank GOD!! I finally can watch all of my racing. NASCAR is ok I guess….. but I want my road racing!!! Where can I buy you and FOX a beer John 🙂

  9. Angelo

    April 1, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Tudor series has taken us back to 1998. Seriously, check Sebring lap times for DP vs. LMP…great to have WEC to experience 2015 again.

  10. Brian

    April 1, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Could be great for the series if Fox doesn’t saturate the broadcasts with commercials like they do with the TUSCC broadcasts. The best news is the streaming option is still available for us dedicated fans.

  11. Lanky Turtle

    April 1, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Totally. Awesome!

  12. Woody

    April 1, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Still going to be getting the live stream on the WEC website….just in case its not live..or its delayed…its only 22 US dollars, so its reasonable

  13. Pierre

    April 1, 2015 at 10:35 am

    We’ll see how FOX handles the amount of hours of race coverage vs the amount of hours of commercials. It will be very hard to beat the FIA WEC Live Stream, the quality of the video and audio was excellent and had no commercials. If the FOX feed is just a direct feed from the FIA WEC world feed with the RLM Commentary, that will be good. But I don’t enjoy the Bob Varsha and company commentary compared to RLM.

  14. andy blackmore

    April 1, 2015 at 11:00 am

    As with recent announcements from Blancpain and similar from PWC and IMSA, it is inaccurate to say Canada will get to see full reaces, as of today, no one West of Ontario (i.e: 2/3rds of the country) has the ability to watch Fox (or for Blancpain CBS Sports Network).

    Ironicly one of the big cable networks, Shaw killed off Fox Sports today

    • thor95

      April 2, 2015 at 1:30 am

      Actually, Fox Sports is nowhere in Canada. It conflicts with TSN and SNet according to CRTC rules which have content priority as Canadian broadcasters so this statement is completely inaccurate when it comes to Canada and still we are blocked out from watching WEC.

      “American and Canadian fans can now watch the entire 2015 season live on FOX Sports and this will bring Le Mans style endurance racing to a much wider audience.
      *****WRONG*******

      • Sham_Poser

        April 2, 2015 at 10:26 am

        I assume at least some, and presumably most of the WEC live coverage will be seen on the Fox Sports Racing channel for Canadians, although I believe Rogers and a maybe a couple of other smaller carriers are now the only ones who still have this channel. Shaw has dropped it as of April 1st. Bell and Cogeco don’t have it anymore.
        Apparently in March the channel showed the start and last hour of Sebring live, but some of the rest of the race that was seen in the US on FS2 was not seen on TV in Canada while they were showing live Nascar stuff. But Canadians could see the live streaming on imsa.com.

  15. powderedtoast

    April 1, 2015 at 11:01 am

    This is good news but I am wary of how the commentary team and the notoriously poor fox sports commercial breaks will be handled.

    The official FIA WEC app was hard to beat in 2014 and I’m happy to pay $22 again for the season.

    PS: No one I know gets Fox Sports 2. FS2 is about as useful as nipples on an armored breastplate (to quote GoT).

    • Doug

      April 1, 2015 at 11:27 am

      They will probably just cut into commercial from the international feed like cbs does to Blancpain and dtm

  16. powderedtoast

    April 1, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Wait, WEC? Are we sure Fox is talking about World Endurance Championship and not WORLD EXTREME CAGEFIGHTING??? 😉

    • FloppyEarRacing

      April 1, 2015 at 11:31 am

      EXACTLY what I was thinking, they will cut it off for some CASHCAR or UFC programming guaranteed!!

  17. Paige

    April 1, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Good news! I’ll definitely tune in. Does this mean less UFC? I hope so. Feels like that is on more than anything else.

  18. Awesome Joe

    April 1, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    John, do you think this is the main reason P. Dempsey left our market to campaign in the WEC? Porsche probably knew this in advance and wanted their marketing dollars going to the series that would have the most eyes on it. Maybe the same reason the ESM guys switched as well?

  19. N8

    April 1, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    This is the delivery model that TUSC needs to follow. Subscription streaming option + television broadcast.

  20. AmP

    April 1, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Does anyone know how fox intends to broadcast coverage in Canada? ATM, we don’t get either fox sports 1 or 2. The only supposed Fox channel Canada has access to is a revised channel branded as “Fox Sports Racing” limited to Canada and the Caribbean, allegedly released in February in time for the 2015 racing season. As far as I’m concerned the channel is a complete myth as our TV provider shows no evidence of its existence.

    I know the WEC news is brand news, so details will scarce.

    • Kyle

      April 1, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      I don’t live in Canada but I have Fox Sports Racing, only issue I’ve seen is that when the NASCAR xfinity or Cup races are being broadcast on Fox Sports 1 they’ll be blacked out on Fox Sports Racing. It works well for all the other series though.

    • Andy Blackmore

      April 1, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      Its available on Rogers Cable, which is only in Ontario and maybe another area East of there.

      WEC, PWC and Formula Drift have both stated coverage in Canada, when in reality its select homes in Ontario

    • FLB

      April 1, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      Fox Sports Racing is available on Videotron Illico, in Quebec. It’s channel 192 (it used to be 112 until this week).

  21. Kirk

    April 1, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    This isn’t good for the Tudor series because disgruntled US sports car fans like myself will now have a way to watch real sports car racing.

    • Maurice

      April 1, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      This will only help Tudor if more sportscar fans are spawned from more sportscar racing coverage. Tudor is “real” sportscar racing. The Tudor product is just as entertaining as WEC.

      • Jordan

        April 1, 2015 at 6:04 pm

        Careful there Kirk,

        There is a guy on here who has nothing better to do with his life than to scour the entire Internet all day and night looking for any slight against TUDOR.

        • Jordan

          April 1, 2015 at 6:06 pm

          This wasn’t aimed at you Maurice.

          But I must say that socialist racing is “real” anything.

          • Jordan

            April 1, 2015 at 6:07 pm

            Edit:

            is *not* real anything.

    • .....

      April 1, 2015 at 6:06 pm

      Yawn

    • Kyle

      April 1, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      Not to mention the fact that if someone tunes into the Tudor series, they will be asking themselves, where are the REAL cars?

  22. racefan101

    April 1, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Great news. It’s about time we have some TV coverage of the best sports car racing on the planet!

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